New polling suggests that the hopes of top Republicans who want President Donald Trump to go away forever are in vain as vast majorities of the base still support the outgoing president.
An Axios-Ipsos poll reported Wednesday found that Republicans across the nation are taking President Trump's side in the unfolding impeachment debate in Congress. A majority of Republicans believe Trump was right to challenge his election loss, don't blame him for the violence that occurred during the riots in the Capitol building on Jan. 6, and want him to be the 2024 Republican nominee for president.
The poll found that the GOP is divided, with 56% of Republican respondents identifying as "traditional" Republicans and 36% identifying as "Trump Republicans."
These factions have different opinions on the president, obviously.
Among traditional Republicans, 24% believe that Trump is to blame for promoting the unrest at the Capitol and should be immediately removed from office.
Only 1% of Trump Republicans think this. An overwhelming 91% of Trump Republicans support the president's efforts to challenge the election results, while only 46% of traditional Republicans say they support the president's election challenges.
Just 41% of traditional Republicans want Trump to be the 2024 GOP nominee; 94% of Trump Republicans want the president to run for office again in four years.
Overall, only 17% of Republicans think the president should be removed from office.
Axios pointed out that the polling explains why there were only 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach the president a second time, blaming him for inciting the violence in the Capitol. Most congressional Republicans are responding to how a significant portion of their base feels.
Offering some insight into why the Republican base opposes impeaching Trump, Ben Shapiro wrote the following in Politico's Playbook newsletter:
Opposition to impeachment comes from a deep and abiding conservative belief that members of the opposing political tribe want their destruction, not simply to punish Trump for his behavior. Republicans believe that Democrats and the overwhelmingly liberal media see impeachment as an attempt to cudgel them collectively by lumping them in with the Capitol rioters thanks to their support for Trump.
"The monopoly Trump's had on the Republican base for the last four years is a little more frayed than any time in recent history," pollster Chris Jackson, senior vice president for Ipsos Public Affairs, said. "A substantial chunk doesn't necessarily think their future goes with Donald Trump. The big question is, is having a small-but-committed base going to be more valuable than a large-but-less-committed base?"